The Heroes Memorial built in Kellogg City Park was inspired by a Veterans Day program at a local school and honors not only military veterans but also police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
All have to put their lives on the line.
“They are all heroes, they do public service,” said Ken Pavelka, one of the men behind the memorial.
Firefighters, for example, get $10 an hour to face dangerous fires or stand outside and block traffic so EMTs can care for crash victims, he said. Police officers “put their lives on the line when they strap on their equipment.”
“I can’t say enough good about our firefighters,” said Les Schmoker, who represents Sons of the American Legion on the committee. “They aren’t just firefighters any more, they are public servants.”
The committee consists of representatives from the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, the city, the Lions club and the fire department. The memorial will have statues of a soldier, police officer, firefighter and EMT. Behind them will be three tall stones bearing the words freedom, community and service.
In the middle will be the bell from the old red schoolhouse that was once in Kellogg. “It’s part of our culture in the city,” Pavelka said.
The idea was born about five years ago when Pavelka and others put on a Veterans Day program at the alternative learning center in Kellogg. “We got hugs from some of the teachers, students even,” he said.
Then some statues of soldiers, firefighters and others were on a trailer in a Kellogg parking lot, he said. They got a lot of attention. That helped cement the idea for the memorial. He got the blessing of the city to build the memorial and it was built in 2014.
In addition to honoring heroes, the memorial also helps bring the town together, give it a focus, he said.